Inside the Gates: Partnership with Alaska Army National Guard, Northrim Bank hopes to pay off for soldiers seeking new careers

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 10:10 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The Alaska Army National Guard has recruited plenty of people, but Northrim Bank may be its biggest catch to date.

The two parties signed an agreement at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center Nov. 8, as Northrim Bank becomes the first private company to partner with the Army National Guard under the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program. It helps Army Guard soldiers who are preparing to leave the service.

“They’re leaving active duty and they’re looking for opportunities to get out back into civilian life,” said Brig. Gen. Lee Knowles, the assistant adjutant general of the Army National Guard. “(They) take care of themselves, families, go to school and do those things that they want to do after service.”

According to the Alaska National Guard, there are currently more than 900 companies and agencies nationwide that are PaYS partners. Roughly 15 of them are located in Alaska. All of those are geared towards the active duty Army. Northrim Bank is the first to partner with the Army National Guard.

“The reality is there are no finer individuals than those coming out of the military,” said Northrim Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Benjamin Craig, an Air Force veteran. “They have all the military bearing, professionalism, strength and abilities to be able to perform well in almost every business we found.”

The PaYS program guarantee soldiers an interview that could lead to a job.

“They understand they’ve got a mission, and what it should look like at the end of it,” Knowles said. “They’re able to take that mission vision, understand their part of it, and then apply it to what they company would have them do.”

Meanwhile, Northrim Bank likes what the military experience offers in potential new employees.

“That attention to detail, that professionalism, that dedication, that ‘service before self,’ the mission-oriented mentality of our military members, it’s what fuels today’s and tomorrow’s business leaders,” Craig said.

With its new partnership, the Alaska Army National Guard believes it will pay off for its soldiers looking for a new career after the service.

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